Your name is Premavara, however, your group is also called The Premavara Family.
Yes that is correct and that family currently consists of Eagle (emcee), Premavara (myself). I’m the producer, singer, beat maker, engineer, and play live instrumentations. We also have Blackkey aka Flow of Sweden. Two new members are earning their stripes: A.D.D (Audio Devestit, Disorder) and KIDCRAZE aka LOZ.
How did you come up with your artistic name?
I’m Italian. My last name being LacoVARA, the Premavara came from Primavera sauce, so Premavara stuck. Plus I wanted to embrace the people I work with as a Coaliliton or a Musical family.
Can you talk about what makes the Premavara Family unique as a band?
We are TRUE Hip Hop in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Mos Def, in the sense that we don’t talk about what we don’t have like “Ice” rims, girls…well some girls. We don’t talk about clichés like cars, money, glam, pipe dreams. That is not us. We talk about the now, our real lives and struggles on a day to day basis whether it be drug addiction or being less fortunate and having no money. It’s a hard life to live that’s for sure, but I’m not crying, I’m climbing.
How and when did you get into Hip Hop? Who are your influences in music?
I bought my first RUN DMC tape at age eight. KRS-One, Tribe, Channel Live, Mobb Deep, Big, Pac, The Roots, and the culture got into me as I grew up on 37th and Westfield in Camden, NJ. It’s a rough neighborhood. It’s a wonderful and beautiful outlook on life, sharing and wrestling up pennies and nickels to get candy… The culture, graffiti, the beats, the drums and bass influence. That’s what hooked me. Plus, my father was a bluesman playing with the greats in his day. He taught me all about Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Lil Walter and what it was like to be poor, make music, ramble and keep doing it for the love of the art.
What are some of your accomplishments?
I worked with U-God and Blackkey aka Flow on the Swedish single soon to hit called “The Streets.” I had the pleasure of working with one of my favorite MCs Slimkid3 of the Pharcyde, Killah Priest, and M80. They’re working on a joint with me, Blackkey and Eagle. Also, I’ve produced a punk rock record by “Fell Far Behind” with frontman and friend Trever Keith. I’m producing the record with Chad Blinman know for his role as engineer for Face To Face, Saves the Day, Moneen, Legion of Doom, the two of them together making great soundtracks for Lakeshore Films. I’ve been fortunate.
Producer Premavara, U-god (Wu-Tang), and Scott Stallone (FoundSound)
Can you discuss working with WuTang’s UGod and Killah Priest?
My work with those infamous emcees was just a surreal experience. U-God being my favorite Wutang member. Killah Priest, M80, and Slimkid3, I grew up listening to these guys and now I make music with them, so it’s incredible. All the work we have been doing has been for the Premavara Family’s album entitled “PremAmerica” due out in November (2010). I’m so stoked to write and create with these talented people, not discounting Blackkey and Eagle at all. They are heavy hitters.
The song “The Streets” has a really nice melody and a bit of a reggae vibe, can you discuss the story behind that track?
My family is from South Philly. We rep Jersey but we have a lot of good times in the city of Philadelphia. I felt we needed an anthem to bring the people of Philly together and the funny thing is, my boy Blackkey of Sweden was so inspired in the city, that he wrote the hook, then a verse, then U-God came to Philly and put the final touches on the 16 bars. Scott Stallone of FoundSound Studios really brought that track alive with his production and engineering work. Big up to Scott, Jus Allah, Jedi Mind Tricks, Vinnie Paz, Enemy Soil, Stoupe, and the whole Jedi Family including Block McCloud and the AOTP. They just keep raising the bar. It’s going to be hard to do what they do, that’s why our styles are so different. We rep Jerz, they conquered Philly with the Roots, Bean Siegel, and Freeway.
“Gravedancers” has a bit of an electronic music vibe to it, please discuss the process for making that song. As well, discuss the music video for that track.
It was my first directed video and I wanted to do so much with it, but the song took 30 minutes to write and just flow. My feelings transcended onto a musical platform I had no idea I could go. That’s what got me into soundtracks and wanting to do more. Plus, I have a fascination of graveyards and cemeteries. I love the dark and creepy vibe, but I also like giving them life again through a lens and honoring the dead in my own way,
As a producer, can you discuss your favorite gear to make music?
Reason all the way. Steinberg products, Propellerhead products, Reason 4, Reason record, Cubase, Nuendo, Fender guitars and amps, Line 6, Motif’s, Yamaha products like the HS50’s, Apple and MAC all the way, just to name a few.
What types of social networking or online tools do you use to help build awareness and get your music heard?
The basics: Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Soundclick.com, Indagamusic.com, Tunecore, CDBaby.
What are some of the challenges of running an indie label?
Marketing and getting people to hear your music for what it truly is: a beautiful spiritual plane of existence. Without it, we would be chaotic and upset or angry all the time, and there’s music for that too if that’s what you’re into, but every pissed off a**hole has to sleep to some shade.
Are you currently performing live, can you describe a Premavara performance?
It’s more of a DJ set right now with my DJ JD, killin the ones and twos, and cutting everything like a Ginzu knife. We like a lot of old stuff, funk, Bob Marley, Isaac Hayes, Motown… We dig for records occasionally, spin at house parties occasionally, and often promote a show or two here and there. DJ JD is going to be spinning sets in-between Canibus and M80 (world record freestyle holder at 9 hrs, 15 mins, and 15 sec) on their tour coming through Philly at Club Octo on July 26th. It’s gonna be sick so if you can make it, come on out.
Can you discuss the upcoming Premavara releases?
I’m focused on “PremAmerica” right now, but I’m putting together a soundtrack in the dark realm of scary sound and art to score a graveyard documentary. Other than that, we eat, sleep, and breathe Hip Hop until the record is finished. Then we focus on Eagle’s four to five song EP, and a live instrumentation (release) of Blackkey aka Flow of Sweden: me on the music and him on the vocals. Hope we get a deal before then because we need distro bad; the digital era is here but people still love CD’s and Vinyl.
What’s available for sale right now?
For CDs, and to make a donation to support diabetes support or to donate to the Red Cross, the “Against the Wall” EP is available for sale and we are giving the single “The Streets” away with a donatation. Other than that, the digital market includes: iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, LaLa, Zune, etc.
Any closing thoughts?
I just got engaged so this interview goes out to my family, soon to be family, my fiancée, my Premavara family, and Slimkid3, UGod, M80, Killah Priest Eagel,and Blackkey aka Flow.